“The First of Our Hundred Battle Monuments”: Civil War Battlefield Monuments Built by Active-Duty Soldiers During the Civil War

Hazen Brigade Monument, Stones River National Battlefield, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, built 1863–64. Photo by Michael W. Panhorst.

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“The First of Our Hundred Battle Monuments”: Civil War Battlefield Monuments Built by Active-Duty Soldiers During the Civil War

by Michael W. Panhorst
Southern Cultures, Vol. 20, No. 4: Winter 2014

"These wartime memorials represent the earliest efforts to [illuminate] the sentiments of soldiers who memorialized their very recently fallen comrades and the heroic events of the war on the very ground where the historic actions occurred."

The New York Times was wrong in more than one respect when it heralded the dedication of two monuments to Union fatalities at First and Second Manassas with its June 13, 1865 headline, “The First of Our Hundred Battle Monuments.” Those two memorials were predated by at least four, and possibly five or six, memorials that were erected on Civil War battlefields by active-duty soldiers during the war to mark where their comrades fought and where some were buried.

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